Today’s Reading: Habakkuk
I guess I relate to Habakkuk, as I read his wistful question – “How long O Lord must I call for help, but You do not listen!” The situation I find myself in would seem to infer that God’s idea of time is somewhat different than mine! But then the more puzzling answer would be that since “the law is paralyzed and justice never seems to prevail,” maybe God is not just? Or is He helpless? – But then is that Satan whispering in my ear the wrong answers which seem quite plausible? Obviously from the inferred characteristic which the answers give to God’s character, that kind of an answer is wrong! And God then replies how He will use the Babylonian enemy, and says that if He told Habakkuk, “you would not believe, even if you were told!” And He proceeds to describe how it is He Himself Who had raised up the enemy and given the strength to the Babylonians and how ruthless they would be. Would Habakkuk be as surprised as I was when I heard about the twin towers being attacked and their subsequent disastrous collapse? How can God allow that!
But how could God allow such an idolatrous godless enemy to triumph? Does that infer that God is unjust Himself or helpless or His plan to discipline had been hijacked by the enemy? Yes, Habakkuk I’ve been there with your questions?! And I’m thankful for God’s answer! I love God saying to Habakkuk, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay! (according to God’s sense of timing!)
I feel excitement, the stirring of happiness, that in the future, I, like Habakkuk will see God win! I remember that He tells us that not only will we see Him win, but we will reign as kings with Him! The problem for me (or us?) is God treats time on a different scale than I do! How encouraging that He is truly in control! And when the Lord talks of idols in comparison to Himself and concludes “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him,” I feel like shouting “Amen, O Lord!” (Or is that section Habakkuk commanding us to be silent before our Lord?)
But I also say Amen to Habakkuk’s prayer, “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds (the ones I have noticed!), O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” (especially when You have to discipline me!)
And Habakkuk continues on with his description of the Lord (this time not the enemy) – as the unstoppable warrior in His victory! Yet I can not help but wonder if Habakkuk was describing something that must have seemed indescribable or unreal (is that why the book of Revelation which records God’s judgment on this world, to me seems hard to understand and unreal?).
But the subsequent result of his trusting faith in God and what He would do, doesn’t seem surprising! And I long to have his heart: “Though the fig tree does not bud etc…. (in other words – even although I don’t see God’s real success in the world surrounding me in my lifetime, still all the same “The sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on to the heights (of the quiet joy and peace that comes out of knowing that all things work together for good to those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose!) (Romans 8) even if it doesn’t presently look like it!!! – I long for that kind of focus for us in our lives! What joy must fill His heart, when He sees us with that kind of quiet joyful trust in Him!